Apple ebook antitrust trial set for 9-12 days in early June


Mr Albert

The Justice Department, state
governments and Apple(s aapl) met in a
Manhattan courtroom on Thursday before
U.S. District Denise Cote to make
arrangements for an upcoming trial in
which Apple is accused of colluding with
big publishers to fix the price of ebooks.
The purpose of the hearing was to set
schedules, review witness lists and go
over last-minute evidence objections
ahead of the trial. Cote proposed that
each side should be given 22 hours over a
four day period plus a final day for closing
arguments; the federal government said
it would need at least 30 hours to make
its case, and Apple requested the same,
meaning the total trial would last 12 days.
Cote said she will decide in the near
The parties also reviewed the witness list,
who include prominent publishing CEOs
like Macmillan’s John Sargent and Apple
executive Eddy Cue. Today’s hearing also
raised the possibility that News Corp CEO
James Murdoch, who exchanged a series
of emails with Apple’s Steve Jobs, could
take the stand for cross-examination; the
federal government will decide in coming
days, on the basis of an evidence
issue, whether this will be necessary.
Much of the trial, however, is unlikely to
feature dramatic CEO testimony. Instead,
the core of the trial is likely to slog
through recondite economic arguments
and civil evidence issues; part of today’s
hearing focused on expert witness opinion
about the competitive effects of agency
pricing and whether it coincided with
Apple’s economic self-interest.
Today’s hearing also focused on an
ongoing dispute in which Apple is
attempting to force its competitors,
especially Amazon, to unseal evidence
they have submitted as part of the
At the outset of the hearing, in a
courtroom that rises 15 stories above
lower Manhattan with a view of the
Brooklyn Bridge, Cote stressed that the
case represented an enormous amount or
work, and told the parties to call her “day
or night” if they decided to settle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s